What to prepare for a self-sufficient wildlife or birdwatching tour in Vietnam?

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Vietnam is a friendly, relatively safe, and adaptable country for expats. With a diverse culinary style, you do not have to worry about your eating style when coming here. In addition to rice, you can choose bread, there are both beef and pork, chicken is also very easy to buy. If the spice is unfamiliar to you, it’s easy to find a fried chicken shop in small towns.

However, to prepare for a self-guided tour in Vietnam, you should have a few friends who have lived here long enough to understand the unwritten rules in Vietnam. Thanks to their meticulous guidance, you have the opportunity to have an interesting trip with beautiful scenes along the length of the country, where there are beautiful coastlines as well as tropical forests all year round.

A bird self-guided wildlife or bird watching tour is another matter. I have met a lot of birders, they have lived in Vietnam long enough to understand where they live, they can know many good pho restaurants without being charged “foreigners are charged more expensive” style, they even have I can’t understand Vietnamese, however, I have not met any foreign friends who dare to go birdwatching or go to the forest alone. “This is impossible in Vietnam,” said a friend who has lived in Vietnam for more than eight years, with a Vietnamese wife.

There are limited issues with foreigners in Vietnam, as most nature reserves or national parks are used for defense purposes, a kind of topographical reserve so you can hide in possible guerrilla wars in the future. This makes it difficult for a foreigner or a stranger, to freely come and explore a place. For the most obvious example of this, you cannot go to Bu Gia Map National Park, a national park located in Binh Phuoc province, only 3 hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City.

That is, to the extent permitted, in national parks that are open to international visitors, or open to tourism (sometimes these places are not open to tourism even with the locals). Then you can go there by yourself, book a room, enjoy your holiday. Unfortunately, there are only 3 national parks in Vietnam that allow you to do it on your own: Cat Tien National Park, Bach Ma National Park, and Cuc Phuong National Park.

For the rest of the places, after buying the ticket, it is imperative that you hire a separate guide to accompany you to the extent you pay the ticket, you wonder? Why do I have to pay for a ticket to come here but not be free to walk alone? Oh, that’s their rule, you have to follow it.

If you have been in Vietnam long enough to be able to visit Cat Tien, Bach Ma, or Cuc Phuong on your own, what do you need to prepare?

  • Insect repellent sprays, mosquitoes – the greatest enemy of mankind – there are many mosquitoes in the forest, and among them can spread malaria.
  • Socks and gloves, socks must be long and thick enough, to avoid you being disturbed by the leeches, the humid rainforest is a leeches paradise, they can either terrify you or simply make you lose a lot of blood, you can get an infection from those bites that bleed for so long.
  • In the dry season, in the forest outside, there is another scary creature, which is the chiggers, they will quickly find shelter in the dark, sensitive areas of your body, burrow and hide. take advantage of “eating” you. The result is swelling, pus, and even pain that persists for many months. Therefore, you should use discreet clothing, should not sit or stand leaning on dry, rotten trees in the forest.
  • A phone with a GPS connection or a GPS device is an absolute necessity when walking alone in Cat Tien National Park, where the terrain is flat, the trees are dense with many horizontal and vertical trails intertwining irregularly. There are no rules, except for the main road through the national park made of concrete, the rest are tiny trails, you only walk 200m and carelessly, you will get lost, there is no phone signal for you. You can ask for help, you can only find your way out before it gets dark. And you’ll be grateful to yourself for having a phone with GPS tracking.
    The last thing of this article, I want to share with you, is to find travel consulting services when intending to go on a wildlife trip or bird watching tour in Vietnam. You can raise your problem and ask them for help. However, wildlife tourism in Vietnam is not very popular at the moment, so this website hopes to give you the necessary answers when you intend to explore the nature of Vietnam. Please contact me, my phone number or email is right below the article

Visit for more: Birdwatching trips in Vietnam!

>> Wildlife Tours in Vietnam

>> Promising Destinations for Birding

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